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First timer, approx $900 budget (Gaming)

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August 19, 2012 4:56:50 AM

Hello! I'm looking to buy parts to build my very own desktop.

Approximate Purchase Date: Next week or first week of September

Budget Range: $900, somewhat flexible (see "~" note in additional comments)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (Borderlands 2, Guild Wars 2, League of Legends, in that order)

Parts Not Required: OS (win7 pro/ult), Monitor (DELL), Speakers (GearHead 2.1)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any website you deem reliable, I've never ordered any computer parts online.
There is a Micro Center I can go to, but they've proved to be rather.. frustrating. a story I'll save for another time.
(short version: helpdesk recommending parts that don't fit, overcharged my creditcard 10x times due to an error, etc.)

Country: United States (DC area)

Parts Preferences: I'm looking at the i5 since people say the i7 is not for gaming.
I prefer at least 1TB HDD, but if it's much cheaper to get 500gb, I'm all for it.

Overclocking: Maybe, no idea how to do this though (it sounds good from the reading I've done)

SLI or Crossfire: No idea what this means (Maybe?)

Monitor Resolution: 1280 x 1024 (current, but willing to try higher reso; have never tried)

Additional Comments: I've never built or attempted to build a desktop before so I'm new to anything that isn't related to gfx cards.
(meaning, I only know how to install/replace them haha)

~ I'm looking to spend $900-$1000 but if some parts are better and only costs a bit more, I'm willing to increase my budget.~

I've always thought cases with windows and lights were really cool, as I've never owned a desktop with such things on it...

There is a chance I may get sucked into an MMORPG which I may play for hours (6 hours max) so possibly a cooler system?

Hopefully I did this right, the formatting and request and whatnot. Hope I was descriptive enough too.
Originally I was going to upgrade the gfx card on my company's desktop but that's just too much hassle and risk.

Much appreciated!!

*edit: I saw the recommended build on that sticky thread for ~$1000.. it sure does look good, but don't know if it's the best for me, I'd like to see some more builds as I don't know anything about motherboards or cooling or HDD efficiency...*
August 19, 2012 5:07:20 AM

Hey man, PM me. I'd be more than happy to work with you one on one and put together a parts list...
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a b 4 Gaming
August 19, 2012 5:33:50 AM

Quick rundown on some of the terms you don't entirely know.
Overclocking is when you make a component (The CPU or GPU, even RAM) run faster than intended, gives you additional performance of up to 10% if you do it right. Overclocking does increase the temperature of the component though, and can damage hardware if you do it improperly.

SLI/Crossfire: Its when you have multiple graphics cards working in tandem. SLI is Nvidia cards, Crossfire is AMD.

The build.

CPU: You are right than an i5 is a gamers chip, and this is the one worth getting.
Intel i5-3570k. $230
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: This board has all the features you will need, its a great budget board.
AsRock Z77 Extreme4. $135
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: Fairly standard kit of RAM, looks good on the mobo.
G.Skill Ripjaws 8GB (2x4GB) 1600Mhz CL9 1.5v. $46
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Again, a fairly standard PSU from a good brand.
Corsair Enthusiast 650W. $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM. $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

An SSD is like a Hard Drive, but uses different technology. Basically it is much faster than traditional HDD, but the cost/capacity cannot touch a HDD. Put the OS and important programs on here to enjoy the speed boost. For instance, the PC will boot very quickly.
OCZ Vertex 4 128GB. $115
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: The HD7850 is the card to get in the mid-range, Nvidia doesn't have any good competitors at this price point.
Sapphire HD7850. $240
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: This is largely personal preference, so here are some good choices. Pick the one you like. Feel free to pick another if it catches your eye, just make sure to research it first.

Surprised they can sell this for a profit, has most of the features of high end cases and looks decent as well.
Zalman Z9+. $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair Carbide 300R W/ window. $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Coolermaster HAF 922. $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $1036 (with a $90 case)
Its a bit over budget, but that will game very well.
Its overclock capable on the CPU, but you will need an aftermarket heatsink if you want to do it properly. The Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO is the budget cooler to get. I left it out of the build since it was already running over budget.
Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO. $36
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I wouldn't clock the CPU past 3.7Ghz on the stock heatsink.

Microcenter is a worthwhile store to purchase stuff from. I hear recently that you can buy an i5 and mobo combo for $40 less.



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August 19, 2012 7:09:41 AM

SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner $16.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER Elite 430 Case $51.99 ($10.00 Mail in Rebate on top of that)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive $109.99 (wait and save for an SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card $229.99 (+ $20.00 Mail in Rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR Builder Series 600W Power Supply $69.99 (+ $10.00 Mail In Rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR Vengeance 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 Desktop Memory $29.99 (You don't need more than 4GB for gaming)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $134.99 ($15.00 Newegg Gift Card Bonus)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor ($229.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler $29.99 (+ $10.00 Mail In Rebate)

Total $903.31 + $12.41 Shipping = $916.32


Edit: Some items have promo codes available right now which will bring the cost down further. When you buy an SSD stay far away from OCZ while very fast, they have a high failure rate and poor customer service.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 19, 2012 9:19:50 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $263.98 save: $16.00 - $10.00 Mail In Rebates FREE SHIPPING
Corsair Carbide Series 300R Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Intel Core i5-3470 Ivy Bridge 3.2GHz (3.6GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2500 BX80637i53470

http://www.amazon.com/XFX-ATX-550-Power-Supply/dp/B004R... $65.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
XFX ATX 550w 80+ Bronze Power Supply - P1550SXXB9

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $117.98 save: $8.00
ASRock B75 PRO3 LGA 1155 Intel B75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-AD-7280S-0B-Internal-Drive-B... $17.99 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
Sony AD-7280S-0B 24x SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive (Black)

http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Barracuda-3-5-Inch-Intern... $86.63 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Seagate Barracuda 7200 1 TB 7200RPM SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST1000DM003

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $309.99 - $299.99 after $10.00 rebate
MSI N660 Ti PE 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Total: $862.56 *not including shipping & rebates


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $92.99 FREE SHIPPING
SanDisk SDSSDP-128G-G25 2.5" 128GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

http://www.amazon.com/VS228H-P-21-5-Inch-Full-HD-Monito... $136.40 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
ASUS VS228H-P 21.5-Inch Full-HD LED Monitor (Black) | 5ms; 50,000,000:1 ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio; Full 1080P with HDMI

http://usa.asus.com/Display/LCD_Monitors/VS228HP/#overv... <----- another look at that monitor

http://www.corsair.com/carbide-series-300r-compact-pc-g... <----- another look at that case

http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/B75%20Pro3/ <----- another look at that Asrock board along with a link to the latest bios
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a b 4 Gaming
August 19, 2012 9:37:26 AM

Inferno1217 said:
When you buy an SSD stay far away from OCZ while very fast, they have a high failure rate and poor customer service.


May have been true for the Vertex 3, but the 4's are very reliable so far and come with a 5yr warranty.
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August 20, 2012 12:18:49 AM

the SSD, is it worth getting one? Or can I skip it altogether?
If I were thinking about using two gfx cards (in the future), would I need a stronger PSU? Or a different mobo altogether?

Thanks a lot for the responses, I will probably pick one of you guys very soon.
I have a ton of games that my desktop can't run, can't wait to try/beat them all.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 20, 2012 8:19:17 AM

You can skip getting an SSD, they are more of a luxury item in PC's.
But once you get one you wont regret it. My PC boots so fast, now the bottleneck to me using the computer is how long it takes for me to hit the power button's on my monitors and them turning on. Using other computers with mechanical boot drives is almost agonizingly slow now.
Heres a video that will show you the main benefits of an SSD. Its a bit old, so if anything the difference between SSD and HDD will be much bigger.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lR0XoHFU6Y&feature=plcp

a good 650W PSU should support dual graphics, but generally people go for 750W when dual cards are a consideration. The mobo I recommended supports dual Crossfire/SLI. Though by the time you will need to upgrade the GPU, it would be a better option to get a faster single card than getting another.
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August 20, 2012 6:57:30 PM

Best answer selected by wheatnoodles.
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